Tlolane helps City edge Maritzburg

Puleng Tlolane scored a late winner as Polokwane City defeated Maritzburg United 2-1 in an Absa Premiership match at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday night.

The teams looked set to play out a 1-1 draw after Cole Alexander’s opener was cancelled out by Mohammed Awal, but Tlolane struck late in the game to hand Rise and Shine a welcome victory.

Maritzburg should have claimed the lead as early as the sixth minute when some great work by Mondli Cele down the right flank teed up Thokozani Sekotlong with a glaring opportunity, but he somehow missed the target.

Five minutes later United defender Kwanda Mngonyama almost scored an own goal, with a cross from Joseph Musonda deflecting off his outstretched leg and flashing toward goal, but ‘keeper Shu-Aib Walters made a sharp save at his near post.

The visitors enjoyed a string of chances in the first half, but they failed to capitalise on them and were duly punished in the 38th minute when Cole Alexander put Polokwane in the lead, controlling a ball in the penalty area before smashing home a right-footed volley.

Maritzburg continued to look dangerous in attack in the second half and they were denied a strong shout for a penalty in the 56th minute when a shot from Kurt Lentjies appeared to be blocked by the arm of Musonda in the 18-yard area.

Two minutes later the Team of Choice created the best chance of the match to put striker Mohammed Anas one-on-one with goalkeeper Modiri Marumo, but the Ghanaian dragged his shot wide of the target.

However, Anas redeemed himself in the 72nd minute when he finished from close range to make it 1-1. The striker capitalised on a defensive error by Polokwane from an offside position – the match officials felt the ball was directed to him by a defender rather than a teammate.

With five minutes of regulation time left, substitute Puleng Tlolane put Rise and Shine back into the lead with his eighth league goal of the season. The striker played a quick one-two before beating a defender for pace and directing a low shot past Walters to make it 2-1.

Polokwane City (1) 2 (Alexander 38’, Tlolane 85’)
Maritzburg United (0) 1 (Anas 72’)

City: Marumo, Ndou (Tlolane 46’), Musonda, Tema, Motumi, Maluleke, Majafa (Jembula 61’), Alaexander, Langa, Kanyenda, Dhladhla (Molala 63’)

United: Walters, Mabaso, Mngonyama, Paintsil, Zulu, Sekotlong (Mekoa 53’), Mkhize, Lentjies, Cele, Hartog (Vilakazi 89’), Anas (Mokate 78’)